Tamron SP AF 24-135mm F3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF Macro A-mount lens review by MrXpress

reviewer#5370 date: May-11-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 18-70
Minolta 35-105
Tamron 28-75
Tamron 17-35
Minolta 100-300
price paid:150 USD
positive:-fantastic build quality
-very good range
-lens 'feels' and looks very good
-close focusing distance a plus
negative:-not very sharp, particularly at tele end
-sllloooowwwww AF
-zoom lock too flimsy
comment:This lens is big and imposing, built like a tank, and covers a pretty decent range on APS-C, so what's not to like? Well, for starters, my copy (as always with Tamron lenses, sample variation may breed differing results) not only took ages to focus, but usually would focus on the wrong thing, and also showed a slight degree of backfocus. Sharpness was decent after resizing for the web, but pixel-peeping at full size showed it was one of my softest lenses.

I wasn't a big fan of the handling, either. The zoom ring is stiff, uneven, and clunky, and included is an unneeded zoom lock which tends to fall to the 'lock' position at the slightest nudge.

The closest thing I have to compare it to is the older Minolta 35-105/3.5-4.5 (the metal macro switch version). The Tamron has a better range, better build, and much better minimum focusing distance, but I found the Minolta to have superb color and to be much sharper across the zoom range, and to have much smoother handling.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 51
  • sharpness: 4.33
  • color: 4.47
  • build: 4.51
  • distortion: 4.29
  • flare control: 4.22
  • overall: 4.36
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